I’ve had a lot of fun playing my new games with my students. But more importantly, it has been such a good way to evaluate what my younger students remember, and how quickly they know the answer.
Reading music is more than just knowing note names. However, students have to learn notes or how can they do theory or move their hands around the keyboard?
As I evaluated my younger students, I noticed some were counting up the staff or saying sentences (All Cows Eat Grass and so on.) All my careful teaching of guide notes seemed to be a flop. I want students to know notes instantly. But it takes time, maybe more than 4 years (gasp!) for many students to be able to remember from week to week the notes on the staff. So new teachers, if you are frustrated that your students cannot identify notes quickly, or knows them at one lesson and forgets the next, don’t give up on them. Keep at it, don’t push too hard, and eventually it will happen.
As a matter of fact, I have decided that I need to work more on guide notes, so after Christmas I’m going to get out my 3 C’s activity, (a free download that you tape together) plus make a game just for guide notes. Does anyone think that guide notes are not as great for learning notes as maybe they first thought? I’m starting to wonder.
Snowmen and Reindeer Games
Well, that was a long introduction to get us to this last game in my series of Snowmen and Reindeer Games. I like this game because I am able to choose just the 7 cards I want to work on. You can throw in ledger lines if your student is far enough along. I even have a beginner who used keyboard flashcards since he hasn’t learned notes yet.
I don’t have flash cards made to go with this game because I have posted so many flash cards already, and besides, what teacher doesn’t have flash cards. If you have commercial flash cards, use them face up, since the answers are on the back of the cards!
- learn to identify notes on a grand staff quickly by sight
- practice fine motor speed and coordination
- develop confidence by knowing note names
- quickly identify notes under pressure
- play a fun seasonal game in less than 3 minutes at an individual music lesson
- Children, ages 6-10 who like cartoon graphics
- Printed game board
- 7 flash note cards, A, B, C, D, E, F, and G, in any clef
- Sand timer or stop watch
- Bingo chips
Give the student a set of flash cards, placed face up if the answer is on the back. Let the student turn over the sand timer, as they think it’s fun. The student quickly draws a flash card and places a bingo chip on the corresponding note name. The object is to cover all the note names on the game board in the fastest time possible. Repeat if you have time.
Free metronome app
Metronome Plus, the very nice metronome iPhone app for music teachers (because it is simple and well designed,) is FREE through this weekend in the Apple app store. Joe, the designer, sent me this info and asked me to share. Now’s a great time to try it out. [Ed: this offer has expired, but check out the app anyway if you're looking for a metronome.]]